Album: Eternidad Solemne
Label: Fallen Empire
Lluvia is a Mexican black metal band that has already been through a name change since its recent formation in 2012. Originally called The Rain In Endless Fall, the band released a very short demo that somehow gained a lot of underground attention, myself included, even at a brief 9 minutes long. Shortly thereafter, Lluvia was picked up by their current label, Fallen Empire, and they have released two full-length albums so far, Eternidad Solemne being their second. Before we go any further, I have to say that Eternidad Solemne is an amazing album, with a sound completely its own.
I needed to go back and listen to their previous work before I wrote this review, because I was sure that it sounded quite different from their debut, Premonicion de Guerra. However, the only difference I can truly hear is one of production. Eternidad Solemne is a bit cleaner, the guitars sound a bit less dirty. Beyond that, the songs still have the same expansive sound, the same slow howling vocals, the same meditative rhythm. What has changed, however, is that there seems to be more time dedicated to these atmospheric tracks that usually consist of rain (as always) and fuzzed out guitars, but very quiet. This gives the whole album a slower feel, dragging the pace down to a slow trek through the rain.
Eternidad Solemne is such a perfectly meditative album; it’s delicately paced and thoughtful, never rushing itself when it doesn’t have to, although there are some intense moments. This is the kind of music that you can get lost in, focusing on each drum crash as it crisply strikes against the backdrop of guitars. I think this is the main reason for the improved production: with an album so carefully controlled, it needs to been crisper to allow all of the notes to be heard. Premonicion de Guerra was a bit more aggressive, so the dirtier guitars worked.
It is difficult to write about any one song on this album, because it really must be listened to as a single piece. No one song stands taller than any other, and they are all designed to put the listener into a trance-like state. Every song is so amazingly crafted, their epic sound irresistible. Lluvia is able to pack so much complexity into a riff that, as it slowly repeats, it reveals layers of itself. If they change the pace slightly, the riff takes on a completely different tone and sound. It is so easy to get lost in the rhythm guitars that it’s hard to notice when they’ve stopped and the album has moved on to one of its atmospheric interludes. Even more jarring are the short moments here and there that feature lead guitar, which has a really fantastic effect. Since most of the album is a soundscape of guitars and howled vocals, those few moments where there is a stand-out instrument playing really take you by surprise. Lluvia works so hard to put you into a daze that dragging you out of it with a shining lead guitar passage is so effective.
All that I can say is that Eternidad Solemne is an amazing album, full of rich sounds and epic moments. It is the kind of album that you would put on simply to be put into that meditative mindset that few bands can do so well. If you enjoy the modern take of black metal at all, you owe it to yourself to give this a listen.